Welcome back to FlixWorthy, your guide to Netflix streaming! Yet again we're bringing you a handful of new or notable selections from Netflix's Instant Watch catalogue. Some will be classics, some will be little-seen gems, some will be shows you might have missed, and some...some will be crap so awful they simply has to be seen to be believed. Here's what's FlixWorthy this week, kids.
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
(2011, Rated R, 88 min., HD)
It's been a tumultuous couple of years for everybody's favorite late-night ginger, Conan O'Brien. After landing the high-profile gig hosting The Tonight Show after Jay Leno's departure for prime time, O'Brien all too soon found himself in the middle of a tsunami of unfortunate circumstances. By the time the dust settled, Leno was back on The Tonight Show, O'Brien was out of a job, and the internets were bitterly taking sides. What is a man to do when his dream gig has evaporated? Take his show on the road, naturally. Yes, like Charlie Sheen, O'Brien decided to tour the country doing his thing while he figured out what would come next. Unlike Charlie Sheen, O'Brien's road show was actually entertaining. Conan O'Brien Can't Stop points a documentary lens at the amusingly titled "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour," which hit 30 cities during the months when Conan was locked out of appearing on the small screen. Since most of us probably didn't see the LPFBFOTT while it was touring, here's your chance to see what all the fuss was about.
Double-Feature It With:
Craig Ferguson: Wee Bit O’ Revolution
(2009, Not Rated, 79 min.)
Continue your tour of late-night comedy hosts with a sampling of The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson. Appropriately enough for a comedian who often also talks about his journey to becoming an American citizen, Wee Bit was recorded at a Ferguson performance in Boston.
(2003 - , TV-PG, Seasons 1 - 7)
MythBusters returned to the airwaves last night, so it's good timing that Netflix has just reposted seven seasons of the show's past episodes. If you somehow aren't already a fan -- and if that's the case, what's the matter with you anyway? -- now's the perfect chance to catch up on MythBusters' unique blend of science, slapstick, and explosions. Each episode hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Heineman tackle myths and misconceptions and expose them to the harsh, cleansing light of the scientific method. Which often involves blowing things up or launching things at other things. Fans who didn't watch the show's early days will be amused by just how much MythBusters has changed over the years: much of the current cast is AWOL, but they do include segments where an expert in urban legends comments on the myths of the week. (Those segments were not a huge loss for the show, trust me.) In the first season, the 'Busters deal with exploding toilets, lightning-attracting tongue piercings, and contagious yawning. And it only gets crazier from there.
Double-Feature It With:
(2009 - 2010, TV-14, Season 1, HD)
I stumbled onto this show during its second season and it soon became a favorite guilty pleasure. Combining elements of shows like Survivor and Survivor Man, The Colony postulates a hypothetical apocalyptic scenario, then dumps a group of "survivors" into an abandoned area and forces them to fend for themselves using only what they can scavenge. In the first season, the survivors are holed up in an abandoned warehouse outside of L.A. Note that while Netflix lists two seasons, they appear to only have the first season available at this time.
Star Trek: The Animated Series
(1973, Not Rated, Seasons 1 - 2, HD)
Probably only the most die-hard Star Trek fans even remember the existence of the Star Trek animated series back in the '70s. While I've been following the various Treks nearly as long as I've been alive, I've still never seen a single episode. The show aired from '73 to '74 during the Trek drought after the cancelation of the The Original Series and before Star Trek: The Motion Picture lumbered into theaters. As you'll notice if you queue the show up, most of the live-action show's cast lent their pipes to their animated incarnations, with the notable exception of Walter Koenig (Chekov was nixed for budget reasons...poor guy gets no respect). Following in the footsteps of the original show, The Animated Series also included several episodes written by notable science fiction authors such as David Gerrold (who brought back the fluffy Tribbles in "More Tribbles, More Troubles"), D.C. Fontana, and Larry Niven. Niven's episode, "The Slaver Weapon," even introduced his notorious feline Kzinti aliens into the Trek universe. The Animated Series probably isn't Trek's finest hour, but it's an interesting curiosity for Trek fans. And yet Deep Space Nine is still not available for some reason...
Double-Feature It With:
(1985, TV-Y7, 85 episodes)
While Star Trek: The Animated Series wasn't a staple of my childhood, Robotech most definitely was. My early Robotech fandom never translated into later-life anime fandom, but I'll always have a fond bit of nostalgia toward robots that transform into fighter jets, giant blue aliens, and Lynn Minmei's godawful pop songs.
(1998 - 2001, TV-14, Seasons 1 – 4)
Could anybody have guessed, back before the turn of the century, that the guy behind Felicity would one day become one of the most powerful figures in pop culture, responsible for some of the most popular and controversial shows and movies of the past decade? Hell, back then a J.J. Abrams controversy was "that time Felicity cut her hair short." That's a long way away from smoke monsters and Star Trek reboots. Nevertheless, it's interesting to go back and visit Abrams' humble beginnings in Felicity, a show that I'll begrudgingly admit I watched with my wife-to-be back in the day. We bailed midways through, but still: mea culpa. Felicity brings the melodrama as young Felicity (played by Keri Russell, she of the magical curly locks) abandons her med school dreams and instead chases a guy she's crushing on to a different college. And the bad decisions carry on for four seasons, culminating in a bizarre final season involving time travel. Hmm, maybe this wasn't so different from Abrams' later work after all...
Double-Feature It With:
(2010, Not Rated, Season 1, HD)
The latest show from My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia, Raising Hope features the same twisted sense of humor and memorably bizarre characters. While ostensibly a family sitcom, the show kicks off when Jimmy becomes a new dad after knocking up a one-night stand who is soon arrested and executed as a serial killer. Frequent "That Guy" actor Garret Dillahunt is brilliant as Jimmy's dense but well-meaning father, Burt, and the rest of the cast, including Cloris Leachman as senile Maw Maw, is equally hilarious. The show has just returned for a second season, so it's not too late to catch up.
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